Tucson to host 62nd Annual International Festivals & Events Association Convention, Expo & Retreat
Tucson, Ariz. – Festivals and Events Association of Tucson and Southern Arizona (FEATsAZ) and Visit Tucson are pleased to announce that Tucson, Ariz. has been selected to host a return of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) 62nd Annual Convention, Expo & Retreat at JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa on September 14 – 16, 2017. This is the first time in the history of the IFEA that the esteemed leading global events association has chosen to return to a destination for three consecutive years to its annual convention.
The IFEA defines itself as “the premiere association supporting and enabling festival and event professionals worldwide.” The annual IFEA convention draws representatives from such major events as Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kentucky Derby Festival, The Olympic Games, Tournament of Roses Parade and Bowl, and varied global peers and counterparts, to smaller, more localized community events, plus the cities, sponsors, tourism organizations, educational institutions and suppliers.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Kurt Tallis, FEATsAZ board member, said. “Tucson is home to hundreds of first-rate events, as well as many experienced festival and event organizers and a wide range of suppliers and vendors. It’s an absolute honor to host this prominent international convention for a second year in a row.”
FEATSAZ and Visit Tucson collaborated with a dedicated team that included the Downtown Tucson Partnership, Main Gate Square, and Fourth Avenue Merchants Association on the convention bid in 2015. The IFEA Convention attendees overwhelmingly positive reaction to the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort as a venue, and Tucson / FEATsAZ as host made it an easy choice for IFEA to return for the 2016 convention, and now IFEA is making it an unprecedented three years in a row in Tucson.
“The IFEA convention represents a great opportunity for us to expose Tucson to festival and event operators throughout the United States and potentially around the world,” Brent DeRaad, President/CEO of Visit Tucson, said. “The attendees are potential customers who could bring their festivals and events to our destination in the future. Of course, we are always looking for business that actualizes during our “shoulder” seasons, and a September convention will be a great benefit to our community.”
The 2017 IFEA Convention & Expo represents 865 room nights, close to $250,000 in economic impact for Tucson, and it is expected to draw an estimated 500 attendees from across the globe for professional education and networking, including Certified Festival and Event Executive (CFEE) training sessions.
“Tucson Meet Yourself, All Souls Procession, 2nd Saturdays, and other civic events are unifying and bring economic benefits to our community,” Steve Kozachik, Tucson City Council Member, said. “And given that Tucson will be a focal point for this important convention, the message of needing to step up our game in support of events can’t be missed by regional policymakers.”